Saturday, August 22, 2009

Proverbs 28: 11-20

11The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.
12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
13He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
14How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding,
But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.
18He who walks blamelessly will be delivered,
But he who is crooked will fall all at once.
19He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.
20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

Today's Thought Question:
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

I must still be thinking about yesterday's post. This passage picks up from those thoughts:

"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." (vs. 13)

The wicked forsake the law. The one who confesses forsakes his transgressions. Big difference. Who has it easier?

Concealing sin, covering it up, "plumping, as to fill hollows" in the Hebrew [Strong's] does not make sin vanish. As if the sin itself is not bad enough, the sinner goes a step further and ignores that it exists. God does not reward this kind of folly. The sinner will not move forward or progress. Interesting that the Hebrew word used for 'transgressions' means revolt. When we choose this pathway, we turn from God's prosperous direction for us, indeed, from God Himself.

One of the most rich expressions in the original language is the next phrase--"but he who confesses...." I love all of these definitions in the Hebrew: "literally to use (i.e. hold out) the hand; physically to throw (a stone, an arrow) at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); intensively to bemoan (by wringing the hands)." [Strong's]

Confession is multi-faceted. Holding out, wringing the hands of what we have done--we need to do that! Oh, to literally, physically let the sin fly off our hands!! That's why I like the "throw" definition, too. Shoot it far away, as on an arrow. And, of course, the last definition about reverence. If confession doesn't bring us back to our Lord, have we really confessed?

"It is very difficult to bring sinful man humbly to accept free mercy, with a full confession of his sins and self-condemnation. But the true and only way to peace of conscience, is, to confess our sins, that they may be forgiven; to declare them that we may be justified. Although repentance and confession do not merit the pardon of transgression, they are needful to the real enjoyment of forgiving mercy.

And what tongue can tell the happiness of that hour, when the soul, oppressed by sin, is enabled freely to pour forth its sorrows before God, and to take hold of his covenanted mercy in Christ Jesus! Those that would speed in prayer, must seek the Lord, when, by his providence, he calls them to seek him, and, by his Spirit, stirs them up to seek him. In a time of finding, when the heart is softened with grief, and burdened with guilt; when all human refuge fails; when no rest can be found to the troubled mind, then it is that God applies the healing balm by his Spirit."

--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

When we sin, what is our first response? Is it the duck-and-cover or is it a throwing up of our hands? If we want to know the true Bridge over troubled water, we need to be like Solomon's father, David, and open, reveal and empty our heart to the One who is our compassion and mercy.

"How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.

I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; and You forgave the guilt of my sin...."
--Psalm 32:1-5


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 28: 21-28 (of the transcribed proverbs of Solomon)
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


Kelly Combs said...

You did a great job today. I don't have anything to add, but wanted you to know I was here.

Carmen said...

Really good post, Sue. It's hard to admit fault, and so easy to try to cover it up. We live in such fear of rejection. Yet, we find compassion when we are open and honest about all we do, certainly from God and sometimes from men.

The first verse stood out to me. The rich man could be a horrible person, but still gains respect because he is rich...and thinks he deserves it. Though he may be a rich fool.

I'm not much of a respecter of persons. Titles don't impress me. I look at the fruit of a person, which to me speaks volumes.

I'm going to miss this study when it's over. Have a wonderful weekend!